July 9, 2014

On 7th July 2014 mostly known to Kenyans as Saba Saba was eagerly waited. The opposition had vowed that they want a national dialogue with the government.

The whole country was tensed, CORD moved from county to county trying to inform people why they need a dialogue. The grand rally was to be held on the Saba Saba day at Uhuru Park.cord laders

Some of the issues they wanted to address were increasing rate of insecurity, high cost of living, corruption and they also want a government that is all inclusive.

The initial Saba saba that is 24 years ago heroes and heroines was trying to address fundamental freedoms, multiparty reforms, freedom of speech and assembly.

During the CORD rally the country was tensed and in some places such as Mathare rumor had it that some people were arming themselves fearing a repeat of 2007/2008. In major cities like Eldoret and Naivasha people had started relocating for fear of violence erupting. The government went ahead and deployed more than 1500 security men to handle security on that day.

In Mathare, the long awaited rally came and most of Mathare residents did not report to work, a lot of people stayed indoors. Few business were opened and goods were from this business were being sold on a higher price and food was also insufficient. Most people in Mathare are known to be supporters of CORD but when asked why they did not attend the rally some said, “I fear for my life, I can decide and go but when I will be coming back I will not be certain of the situation in my area”. The presence of heavily armed security personnel around the villages intimidated the residents

Security was also tight in Mathare and anybody/youths who may have been seen idling were asked to go indoors or else risk being arrested.

Transport was affected in major part of the city

Transport was affected in major part of the city

Few pupils and students stayed at home and those that reported on the saba saba were released after the morning lessons. Private, non-formal and government schools taught half day.

The next day the situation was back to normal, businesses were opened, people were so many on the roads and some pupils reported to schools. Few schools that I visited had pupils but the teachers were missing in action or those that reported came late.

Some youths and peace ambassadors were seen in villages passing peace messages.
Residents of Mathare and other neighboring communities were also happy because violence was not reported or harassment from the security personnel

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